One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of various Eurasian and African shrews of the genera Suncus and Crocidura, the males of which have large scent glands that produce a musky odour; especially the house shrew of southern Asia, Suncus murinus (also introduced in East Africa).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869), physician and philologist. From musk + shrew.
musk shrew/ˈmʌsk ʃruː/
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